Chinese orchestra fans who baulk at steep ticket prices or are unable to catch their favourite musicians playing live, will soon have an alternative - digital live streaming.
The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) is working with Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao to present the world's first digital Chinese orchestra concert.
The Strings Fantasy concert on Nov 26 at the SCO Concert Hall will be broadcast in high definition on Zaobao's digital platforms.
There will be a real audience at the actual location.
After buying an e-ticket and receiving a unique log-in code, users can watch the live stream in real time on their devices and also play it back any time they like within the next two weeks.
BOOK IT / STRINGS FANTASY ONLINE DIGITAL CONCERT
WHEN: Nov 26, 8pm
ADMISSION: E-tickets cost $10
An SCO spokesman says the orchestra hopes the digital concert will enable the group to expand its reach internationally.
"We aim to make e-ticket prices affordable to encourage overseas audiences to watch SCO online," she says.
An e-ticket costs $10, while the actual concert would cost between $20 and $95.
While audiences at the actual concert pay more for ambience and acoustics, those watching online can view close-up shots of the musicians' expressions and instruments.
Ms Han Yong May, Chinese Media Group digital editor of Lianhe Zaobao's parent company, Singapore Press Holdings, says: "SCO has been widely recognised both locally and overseas, winning great reviews from people of all walks of life for its professionalism and diversified programme."
The Nov 26 concert, which will be two hours long, features international violin virtuoso Lu Siqing - the first Asian to win the presti- gious Paganini International Violin Competition in 1987 - and cellist Qin Li-Wei, who heads cello studies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music here.
Under the baton of SCO music director Yeh Tsung, the concert will feature classic Chinese pieces such as Zhao Jiping's Melody Of The Secluded Orchid and Chen Gang's The Sun Shines On Tashkurghan.
The 117-verse symphonic poem The Celestial Web, by Singaporean artist Tan Swie Hian with music by SCO composer-in-residence Law Wai Lun, will also lend local flavour to the programme.
SCO musicians are excited about the broader audience that digital streaming would reach.
Says zhonghu musician Wilson Neo, 36: "I would definitely introduce my friends in Malaysia, China and Macau, who are interested in SCO and Chinese music, to this concert online."
Some Chinese orchestra fans welcome the convenience of the digital stream. Finance manager Justin Tan, 36, says: "I would like to purchase the ticket so as to enjoy good music in the comfort of my home with my family, using my favourite audio system, without having to travel to the concert hall."